RECAP: Oregon State tops Tennessee for 1st tourney win since 1982

Mar 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; A general view if Bankers Life Fieldhouse before the game between the Oregon State Beavers and the Tennessee Volunteers in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Roman Silva scored a career-high 16 points, making all eight of his field-goal attempts, as No. 12-seeded Oregon State upset No. 5 Tennessee 70-56 Friday afternoon in the NCAA Midwest Regional at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Jarod Lucas added 14 points for the Beavers (18-12), making four 3-point field goals, Ethan Thompson scored 13 and Zach Reichle had 10.

Oregon State, which gained just its second NCAA berth since 1990 by winning the Pacific-12 Conference tournament title, never trailed to win a game in the tourney for the first time since 1982. The Beavers advanced to the Round of 32, in which they’ll play the winner of Friday’s late game between fourth-seeded Oklahoma State and No. 13 Liberty.

Keon Johnson led Tennessee (18-9) with 14 points. Jaden Springer scored 12 and Santiago Vescovi added 11.

The Volunteers played without forward John Fulkerson, who sustained a concussion and facial injuries against Florida in the Southeastern Conference quarterfinals.

The Beavers built a 33-19 halftime lead and Tennessee never cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the way. The closest the Volunteers got was 66-56 on Springer’s layup with 1:29 remaining.

Read More: South Shocker: 15th seed Oral Roberts ousts Ohio State, 75-72

Oregon State started strong, opening an 18-7 lead with 11:05 left in the first half as Lucas made a pair of 3-pointers.

The Beavers were held scoreless for the next 4:32, until a 3-pointer by Reichle, but the Volunteers were unable to take advantage, scoring just four points in that span.

Tennessee missed its first nine 3-point attempts before Vescori scored from long range with 3:39 left in the half to pull the Volunteers within 27-14.

The Beavers had a 33-17 lead and looked to take the last shot of the half, but Johnson stole a pass under the basket, drove the length of the floor and put up a scoop shot just before the buzzer to pull the Vols within 33-19. It was Johnson’s only points of the half as he missed his first six field-goal attempts.

The Volunteers were unable to build on that momentum in the second half.

–Field Level Media